Gay Conservatives See Progress Beyond 2012 Platform

Despite backward-looking views in the Republican Party platform, gay conservatives and their allies report significant progress toward equality over the past decade.

BY Julie Bolcer

August 28 2012 4:00 AM ET

Romney video gets a trial run in preparation for RNC.

 

Freedom to Marry, which is nonpartisan, has made deliberate efforts to engage Republicans. The group also led the campaign to urge the Democratic Party to include marriage equality in its platform for the first time this year.

"Our goal is wining the freedom to marry nationwide in all 50 states and at all levels of government,” said Solomon. “We know to make that happen, the effort needs to be bipartisan."

As of now, only one Republican member of the House has endorsed legislation to repeal DOMA, but that tally could increase when more representatives announce support after the November elections, as many expect. Republican partnership will also be needed in state legislatures for anticipated marriage equality pushes in Rhode Island, Delaware and Hawaii next year.

While a gulf exists between the parties on LGBT issues, a Harris Interactive/Logo TV poll released last week hinted at longer-term possibilities for Republicans. The survey found that 22% of LGBT voters would be more likely to vote for Mitt Romney if he held the same positions on LGBT issues as President Obama. Such a change would turn the 67%-23% edge the president currently enjoys with LGBT voters into a tie. A follow-up question found that 26% of LGBT voters would be more likely to vote for Republican candidates if the party held the same position as the Democratic Party on LGBT issues.

In the meantime, even the stark difference on marriage equality between President Obama and Mitt Romney helps gay conservatives build their case. Now that the Democratic Party has finally evolved, the focus turns to Republicans.

“You were always able to say, ‘They have the same position on marriage,’ and that was true up until three months ago,” said Longwell. “But to take that argument away, Republicans now have to confront the fact they are legitimately on opposite sides of this issue.” 

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